Around the age of 12 or 13, the brain essentially solidifies, radically changing how we learn languages. This is likely the reason it’s so difficult for adults—unlike children—to learn new languages without an accent. And it is the reason why adults shouldn’t expect to learn a new language in the same way they learned their mother tongue.
The flip side is that adults have a major advantage over children when it comes to learning a new language: they already know an entire system of grammar and vocabulary—that of their own mother tongue.
This is why they can learn new languages much more quickly by relating the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the language they already know to the one they are trying to learn. Although adults can't learn new languages instinctively like children because their brains have changed, they can learn very quickly. The key is to use one’s knowledge of English as leverage for learning the new language.
If English and Mandarin share a similar way of creating the simple future, doesn't it make sense to draw this out? If the English words for "automobile" and "cell phone" share the same roots with several Romance languages, wouldn't it help to emphasize the association?
By approaching the new language from the point of view of English, what seems unintelligible is made clear. This is the essence of leveraging English to learn each of the Fluenz languages.